Camp Chowenwaw (Cho’-wen-waw), is a beautiful 150-acre site at the mouth of Black Creek, near its confluence with the St. Johns River. The Girl Scout Council of Duval County operated the site as a camp for over 70 years. The original cabins and the Big Cabin were built with federal aid using logs cut on site. The camp opened on July 1, 1933.
Camp Chowenwaw has played an important role in the lives of three generations of young women in Northeast Florida. Thousands of campers have stayed at the Camp; many have gone on to be leaders in our community.
In 2006, Clay County purchased the camp from the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council with assistance from Florida Communities Trust using Florida Forever funds.
It is now a public park offering a variety of recreation including trails, camping and overnight cabins, nature programs, fishing pier, canoe launch, picnicking, swimming pool, museum, playground, and meeting rooms.
The Park is managed as a conservation, historic preservation, and outdoor recreation area.
We found this fun family friendly location from a facebook post about Tree house camping and had to check it out. Making reservations was pretty easy on the county website. There are a number of forms you will be emailed to print and fill out(will save you a lot of time if you plan to use the pool that is run by YMCA)
Check in was easy. The office is closed form 12– 1 so no chance of checking in early. There is a Girl Scout Museum near the main office where you check is– but is rarely open. This was an old girl scout camp and now id open to the public. There are many different types of cabins available for rent, tent sites and 9 tree houses. Each area set up as a grouping with a bathhouse and kitchen pavilion.
The tree houses were so fun to stay in and being higher up gave us chances of a breeze– many in our group brought battery operated fans. Though there was a threat of rain all weekend we stayed high and dry in the tree houses(2 sides are only screened)
There was a very large lighted screened kitchen pavilion with fireplace, stove, fridge, sinks and covered outdoor grill. There were other campers in the tree house area we shared this community area with. It was great to have a place to hang out during the rainy evenings. Bath house was centrally located and clean.
Pool was very nice and very strictly run by the local“Y”. It was closed a lot due to distant rumbles of thunder but we did get a few minutes to enjoy.
Trails were well kept and took you through the property and past many of the grouped cabin areas. One boardwalk took you out to the river and fishing dock another out through the area by the tree houses.
It was a good 10 minute hike with our gear to get to the tree houses from parking area near pool. Wagons are provided but pack light to save the trouble.
Summertime this place is a kids paradise. There were lots of families, parties and groups on the property when we went. Fall and Winter we are told is the best time to camp here but we were advised to book early!
Remember to Leave No Trace and enjoy this one of a kind experience!
Florida has many many different camping options. I was looking for something unique and different from what I'd done before and this place popped up on my radar. Definitely Different and Unique for Florida. And the perfect place to review my icemulecoolers.com
Camp Chowenwaw is located in Green Cove Springs, FL adjacent to the St. John's River and on Black Creek. It was a Girl Scout Camp for 70 years and is now owned and operated by Clay County, FL (https://www.claycountygov.com/departments/parks-and-recreation/camp-chowenwaw-park). There are many different styles of camping available here with lots of privacy between the different sections.
I chose to camp in the Treehouse Point for a weekend where there are 9 Treehouses available for camping. A group of us went and had Treehouse #4 and #5. Each screened in non electric Treehouse slept 4 in bunk beds. There were several central fire rings with a picnic table/benches throughout the unit. A shared bathhouse with toilets, sinks, lights, and hot showers was available in the unit also. There was a central dining hall for all of Treehouse Point with electric, lights, fans, inside fireplace, stove, refrigerator, sink area, and porch with outside charcoal grill and picnic table.
Even with sharing the dinning hall with other campers it was great since it was big enough and everyone was friendly. The Treehouses are spread out with some trees in between so they are semi private. The pool is available but doesn't open til 10 am where as we were all ready to go earlier since it was HOT. It was very enjoyable but HOT in July with no electric in the Treehouses. We had no issues with mosquitoes or yellow flies and the frogs serenaded us every night loudly, so that was a cool experience. We had decided not to take kayaks since there was a bit of a walk into our area and we didn't want to leave them in the parking area on our vehicles, which turned out to be a good decision because the kayak launch was under repairs. They are planning on upgrading a lot so it should be great soon. They recently upgraded and replaced the fishing pier and its awesome. We are planning to go again in the Fall when its cooler. I would recommend this place for a unique experience. On a side note: Green Cove Springs has a pool also in a community park on the St. John's River that is spring fed and would be a cool stop.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products. A Camp Chowenwaw I tested the icemulecoolers.com. I got the ICEMULE Pro XL (33L which equals 24 cans plus ice) in Camo.
1. What I loved about the ICEMULE was that I could wear it like a backpack and be comfortable and free my hands for something else.
2. I loved that the straps were wide and comfortable.
3. I also loved that the chest cross strap could be moved up and down to make it more comfortable for women to use the chest cross strap.
4. The straps had lots of room to make smaller or larger so it will be great fit for a variety of people and body styles.
5. It kept my ice solid for three days in the FL heat.
6. It has a port to add air to enhance the coolers insulation.
7. It holds A LOT!! I had 9 bottles of Propel water and 2 bags of grapes and 1 whole bag of ice. It wasn't too heavy and there was room for much more.
Only draw back I had was that the camo style is fabric and tends to sweat a lot. The other colors are vinyl and don't seem to sweat.
I'm ready to use my ICEMULE Cooler again. I even want to take it kayaking and get some more accessories for it from their site like a dry bag and a waterproof box.
The treehouses are very cool and sleep four people. The camp is an old Girl Scout camp but was then purchased by Clay County. The park has a swimming pool and other places to camp besides the treehouses. There is a fun trail to hike with a wooden bridge over the swamp. The camp has access to black creek and is fun for kayaking.
Great cheap camping and free spot to hike and drop your kayak
The area near the entrance of the camp being built up for homes or business, making the entrance barren and displeasing to the eye. The pool is a nice feature, you just be over age 18 and have your license with you to swim, which is weird. The tree houses are neat, lots of potential for family camping. Fishing is mediocre due to the downed trees and such sunken Uber by past hurricanes and heavy rains. I wouldn’t camp here if I was someone who didn’t like kids or hearing them squeal.
Love this park and the tree house "cabins". Great place to stay with the kids
stayed there last year with my grands